Day Two at the El Gouna RRD Center Kiteboarding World Cup
Daybreak in El Gouna was accompanied by ideal wind conditions once again, a treat for competitors and spectators alike. It is the perfect example of why this location in Egypt is so popular for kiteboarding, and remains a firm favourite particularly for freestylers. However the wind conditions dropped slightly during the morning and put the competition on hold until 3pm, when it resumed and both the Men's and Women's semi-finals were completed.
The semi-finals for the Men were continued from yesterday, starting with the completion of Heat 11. As the wind strength was decreasing, the Men struggled to ride with power even on their biggest kites, however Anthar Racca from Mexico still managed to remain firmly in control, and landed 5 of his 6 trick attempts. His scores remained high enough to give him a good lead, and a position in the Qualifier League final. Val Garat from France joins him, as he finished a few points behind in second place. Both riders remain firmly on course for a good finish at this Qualifier Event, Anthar Racca who will be focused on gaining entry to the Elite League in 2018, and Val Garat who will be wanting to maintain his position within the Elite.
Heat 12 for the Men continued, and with the lighter wind conditions, the heat lasted longer than usual. In order to make fair conditions for the riders, they are allowed a longer period to perform their tricks, waiting for the suitable moment. Maxime Chabloz from Switzerland seemed unfazed by the conditions and confidently landed every one of his six trick attempts. The young rider, who was winner of his category during the Youth Cup earlier this year, was please to secure himself a position in the final for this event. Frenchman and newly qualified Elite Rider Nicolas Delmas was just one point behind him and will also follow him through to the final.
“The conditions were really light, but it was quite an advantage for me because I am one of the smaller riders, and at home I also have light wind conditions so I’m really used to it. I had a bit of luck, and a lot training, and it all worked out! “ Maxime Chabloz
The young Mikaili Sol from Brazil proved that she is a force to be reckoned with during Heat 7. Although she is still not old enough to compete in the Elite League (where the minimum age is 14) she continues to push her boundaries during each event, and today was another solid performance for her. With 4 sound scores during her heat, she cruised through to the finals comfortably. Maureen Castelle from New Caledonia was also up to the challenge, and landed several high scoring tricks giving her a well-earned position in the finals which will be held tomorrow.
"It was great being under pressure again and I'm really glad that I finally did well! I've been training really hard for this and I'm hoping to do a lot better in Brazil and maybe get the wild card for the Elite event!" Mikaili Sol
Heat 8 saw two newcomers of the Qualifier League, Claudia Leon and Nathalie Lambrecht come face to face against two more experienced riders, Francesca Bagnoli from Italy, and Danish Champion Therese Taabbel. Bagnoli claimed the win, eager to position herself in the final, and Taabel was determined to join her, landing 5 of her 6 trick attempts, which placed her just above Spanish rider Claudia Leon.
"The wind was quite light, but in the end we managed to run some heats with some good tricks. I'm very happy to have won my heat and make it to the final of the Qualifiers." Francesca Bagnoli
The wind unfortunately dropped bringing the day's competition to a close. Tension hangs in the air for the Qualifier League riders as they need to battle for a good result to gain entry or remain in the 2018 Elite League.
Competition resumes tomorrow, with a first possible start at 9.30am.